The Lost Princess

Unicorn

The boisterous knights were drinking mead, munching on cupcakes, and telling tall tales around the fireplace when the King strode into the hall.

“Attention!” The King raised his arms for silence. “I need the least drunk one of you to go find my sweet Princess. She’s wandered off again.”

The knights rolled their eyes and muttered among themselves, and finally senior knight Caldor the Cunning nominated Tomkin the Twitchy for this most onerous of tasks.

Tomkin, being newly knighted, had no clue this was a hated chore and eagerly jumped up to serve his King. “I shall be pleased to ride out in this dastardly blizzard and fetch your daughter, Sire! It is a great honor to be chosen for this most important of missions.”

“It’s not my daughter, you idiot!” The King bellowed at poor Tomkin. “It’s Princess, my pet unicorn. Why is your eye twitching like that? Are you bespelled?”

“No, Sire!” Tomkin replied. “I stay far away from witches and devils. It’s because the talking bird pecked my face while I was still a babe in the cradle.”

Blackbird crow tree green morning

The King waved him off. “Make haste! I don’t want Princess to catch the snow fever.”

Garley the Gaunt raised his cup in a toast. “Better Tomkin than any of us!” he cackled. “He will never find that foolish horse in all this snow.”

Caldor agreed. “‘Twill be a miracle for him not to lose his toes or a whole foot in this storm, if he returns at all. It hasn’t been this cold since the King was in short pants.”

“Tomkin shall return unharmed and victorious,” declared Muslik the Marbled. “He was kissed by a raven and thereby gifted the secret knowledge of all horned animals.”

Indeed, not a quarter hour had passed before young Tomkin re-entered the hall with Princess trotting behind him.

The elder knights gaped in astonishment. “How did you get her to follow you?” Garley inquired.

“Gave her half my cupcake,” Tomkin replied. “Unicorns love cupcakes.”

Sprinkles mythical creatures cupcake

Caldor nodded at Muslik. “When you’re right,” he admitted, “you’re right.”

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Emma’s Wednesday Writing Prompt and Chelle’s Last Sentence Challenge.

Wild Animals [wdp]

puma cat

There are loads of wild animals here in Orange County, California, but I rarely see any. We have raccoons and skunks and snakes and coyotes and pumas/cougars and bears and squirrels and deer and a zillion kinds of birds. Sometimes I spy birds and squirrels at the park.

Part of the reason I don’t view much wildlife in its natural habitat is because I mostly stay indoors as opposed to gallivanting around in the wilderness. I figure that my ancestors did enough wandering and I will honor their memory by staying cozy and safe. Also, wild animals tend to stay away from people because we’re dangerous creatures, so I assume I’ve been near hidden wildlife at various times.

That said, I saw a big snake once at Crystal Cove beach in Laguna and I’ve seen a couple coyotes from a great distance. When I was on the ferry to Catalina, there were dolphins frolicking in the water, which was fun to witness. I’d like to go whale-watching again ~ I went once, but they were shy that day. Up in NorCal, I saw deer, otters, and seals.

otters

I think this pic was taken in Long Beach.

So now I’ve responded to one of the WordPress Daily Prompts… and what happens next? If anyone knows of a page to link it to, please let me know.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

School Daze

school bus

Maggie assigns us questions today for this week’s episode of Throwback Thursday. I’m happy to hear that Lauren is doing well.

1. What do you remember as the most interesting required reading assignment you had? What class was it for?

I loved The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, which was required for one of my college classes. I’ve read it again since. Way back high school, I enjoyed The Lady, or the Tiger, a classic short story.

2. Were you required to write a book report or were you required to give an oral presentation? What do you remember about it?

We probably had some kind of test or quiz. It’s hard for me to remember specifics from a zillion years ago! I wrote loads of papers, but I don’t recall details, except that in high school I typed them in our freezing cold basement.

3. What did you consider the worst book or article you were required to read? What made it the worst?

I hated Beowulf because it was SO BORING.

4. Were you ever required to debate other classmates? If so, what class was it for? Do you remember any of the subjects and your ‘side’ of the debate?

Yes. I had speech in both high school and college. I took the pro-choice position in high school and pro animal rights in college. I did better in the first one because my opponent was an idiot.

5. Were you ever required to do a science project or enter school science fair? What was your project? Did you do it alone or did your parents help you? If you were graded, how did you do?

I made a colorful model of the universe with styrofoam balls. It was horrible. I think I did this alone, but I’ve blocked most of it from my memory.

Planets universe world

6. Did you have a Home Economics class or a Wood/Metal Shop class? What types of things did you make?

Girls had to take home economics in high school; boys had to take shop. I’m not complaining because I would have hated shop more. I made clothes on a sewing machine and then we had to model them at the end of the year. My dress came out way too short and this was not deliberate, though I can just imagine what today’s girls might make on purpose and that’s probably why there’s no more home ec! My pantsuit came out great, but that’s because I snuck it home and had my mommy finish it.

7. Did you frequent the library? Was it for class work or for pleasure? What book that you read for pleasure had the most impact on you?

I went to the library all the time for both work and pleasure. The books I read for pleasure were mostly from the store though. I stayed up all night to finish The Flame and the Flower when I was 14 ~ this is a rapey romance novel by Kathleen Woodiwiss and I probably shouldn’t have been reading it. I do believe that soaking my brain in these bodice rippers at a young age warped my outlook on relationships.

romance novels

8. What was your most creative class? Band? Chorus? Art? Drama? Writing? What standout creative project do you remember most?

Writing. I don’t remember writing anything particularly creative back in high school. In college, I wrote a short story about a job that eventually morphed into a monster and is now known as “that book of long short stories” I never finish.

9. Were you required to write a term paper or an end of year report in any of your classes? Did you remember what you wrote about?

Probably. No. Oh, in college I wrote an essay about (the lack of) women’s rights in romance novels for a class in feminism. That was fun, but no matter how clearly I saw that these books were a bad influence, I was still addicted.

10. Bonus Question: Did your teachers ever offer extra credit assignments ? Did you do them to help improve your grade?

Probably. I’m sure I did them all because I was an overachiever, but I received A’s regardless.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

February 14, 2047

Hourglass

The irony of dying
On the day meant for love,
Pink boxes of secrets,
Balloon clouds above…
I never hated Valentines;
They all seemed so sweet,
Filled with gooey hope
My soul mate I’d meet.
So much time wasted
Searching for romance,
Living for a future
That never had a chance.
At some point I stopped
Counting my tears
And appreciated the now
While I still had the years.
Only twenty-four more
To do all my stuff—
It sounds like too little
Or maybe just enough.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for the Skeptic’s Kaddish W3 32, where our title is a date. I used the Death Clock to get mine. They’ll give me 7+ more if I check optimistic, but I think I’m neutral aka a realist. Plus February 14 is much more poetic than August 15 (2054).

Range

Flaming arrow

“I heard that you missed me,” Vince said to Veronica.

“My aim is getting better though,” she shot back.

“So that was you I saw on the firing range last week!”

“I was doing badly until I put a picture of you over the cardboard dummy, and now I hit the target every time.”

“So how about another chance, Veronica—dinner tonight?”

“Sorry, Vince, I have a hot date with the other dummy.”

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Denise’s Six Sentence Story (range).

Exquisite

Crystal ice

Glittering crystals
Exquisitely original
Melting in the sun

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Haiku written for Moonwashed Musings.

One-Liner Wednesday

carrot cake

“If eating cake is wrong, I don’t want to be right.” ~ Lorelai Gilmore

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Footprints in the Snow

blue house moon snow cold

I remember when we wrote our names
With cold fingers on the frosty glass:
Shaky letters held in crooked hearts,
Our love like winter melting fast.
“If we make it through December”
Used to be your incantation,
But there was no magic in your smile
When you left for the Greyhound station.
I pack these winter things away,
My broken heart trapped under ice;
Ghosts of tunes float in empty rooms,
Around the sad-eyed Christmas mice.
Wind whips across the window panes,
And I know it’s time to let it go,
But as the last bit of daylight fades,
I see a trace of footprints in the snow.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for dVerse’s Come Sing with Me, using the following song titles:

Love Like Winter (AFI)
If We Make It Through December (Merle Haggard)
Winter Things (Ariana Grande)

Trapped Under Ice (Metallica)
Let It Go (Idina Menzel)
Footprints in the Snow (Bill Monroe)

Weekend Sky on Tuesday

Irvine sunset

I took this yesterday (Monday) at 4:52pm and edited it to make it more vibrant. Love the way the sunset colors are reflected in the windows of the building.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Posted for Hammad’s Weekend Sky series.

Station Break [fss]

Couple argue fight yell

The somber mood in the studio was not surprising, given that the anchorman had just had a conniption over the weather report. “It can’t rain this weekend!” Duncan screamed. “Yesterday you promised sun and so I told my little girl we’d go to Disneyland!”

“I didn’t promise anything!” Marla yelled back. “Take your narcissistic aggression out on someone else.”

J.B., the sports reporter, held up a hand. “Whoa! Time out, folks! Let’s take a pause to cool down and then reconvene when we’re calmer.”

“Duncan’s just mad because his wife threw him out and he’s been living in a hotel,” Marla explained. “And I don’t blame her one bit!”

Duncan slammed down his Walter Cronkite coffee mug. “That’s your slant, Marla, which is also known as FAKE NEWS. For your information, we are all staying at the hotel while our kitchen is being remodeled. It’s too dusty in the house right now, which irritates Zoe’s allergies.”

“What the heck?” J.B. exclaimed. “She told me last night at dinner you had separated.”

“You were on a DATE with my WIFE?!” Duncan hollered as he put his hands around the other man’s neck. “You lowlife, son of a—”

“Whoa,” J.B. gasped. “Time out!”

Marla laughed and took the last donut.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Fandango’s Story Starter 75.